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From $2k last year to $41,925.77 this year alone. All the strategies + AMA

Quick intro:

Points 1 - 3 show the path to building the right product
Point 4 - 8 show the strategies

2021

I wouldn't have been where I'm right now if not for my life experiences.

1. There's no overnight success.

I've been hustling for over 8 years now. My lessons from this:

  • Try everything.
  • Find your own path

2. Find what works for you and keep with it

Last year - I’ve finally started my small side hustle - newsletter with viral marketing case studies

I’ve created it for myself as a library for the most effective marketing strategies, to boost my creativity, and uncover the most efficient marketing (that's what I saw in those case studies).
I couldn't find anything like it. Providing just meat, no fluff, marketing tools and psychology behind all of it.

3. Your product needs to be useful both for you and for others. But don’t forget to present it in an attractive way

Articles are boring. The value inside them is not.
How to make it attractive?
There’re a few ways to do it and that’s the same principle for every product:
product attractiveness

  • Useful: Providing only the most essential strategies from each case. Providing full strategy and psychology principles used.
  • Easy: No fluff. UX principles included: Visual hierarchy, Chunking, Picture superiority
  • Fun: Online Flashcards

Add viral features to your product and you’re are set.
(Viral features are elements of your product that make your brand recognizable outside of your website)
Example of a viral feature “Powered by” (testimonial.io uses it)

In my case: Sketches with watermark - Got a handful of clients through some larger Instagram accounts who shared my sketches in their posts and IG stories.
sketch matermark

4. Short theory about traffic

Every single business in order to work needs to tap into a traffic source.

  • Regular stores tap into the location traffic.
  • Online businesses either develop their own “location traffic” through SEO, social media, email list, or...
  • Borrow traffic (ads, influencer marketing, marketplaces, discovery websites (Appsumo, Product Hunt, Hacker News), Communities (Fb groups, Indiehackers), etc)

Traffic strategy

Keep to one strategy. Dominate it and expand.

Why only 1 strategy?
The #1 biggest mistake in marketing is trying to implement every single strategy at the same time, resulting in poor execution in all of them

Instead of that:

  • choose just 1 strategy at a time - doesn't matter if it's SEO, Instagram or even Product Hunt,
  • Stick to it,
  • Dominate it,
  • and only then, expand

This is my biggest mistake. Due to my job, I've been exposed to new amazing marketing strategies every week, and I was all over the place. Only recently started sticking to just 1.

5. Product Hunt:

In the mid of January, I've launched my second product Brainiac - database of 150 cognitive biases principles and models in marketing on the Product Hunt.

Results:

  • 1700+ upvotes
  • 1st product of the week / 4th product of the month
  • earned $9,123.60 within 1 week

PH strategy for you:

  • Create a buzz around the launch at least a week before the launch

  • Ask everybody for upvoting (but don't ask publicly about it. Product Hunt doesn't like it)

  • Ask a great Hunter from the Product Hunt to help you with the launch - it's like having an influencer helping you with getting votes (I actually didn't get the Hunter, but I was lucky)

  • The first slide should be a video. The more authentic and funny, the better

  • The thumbnail should be a GIF (it mattered more back in January)

  • The first comment should be personal and should tell your story as a creator. Don't be a company. Be a creator

  • Offer a discount with a limited time offer.

  • You can gamify upvoting, meaning offer something in exchange for upvotes (but only on priv)

  • Post your product at 12:01am PST

  • Choose a good day - Mon-Fri (high traffic, great competition), weekend (low traffic, low competition)
    ph days

Important lesson:
Keep the momentum going, because the loss of momentum is hard to get back

After the PH launch I've had purposely stopped the momentum of my business.
I needed to solve my business administration issues (I'm from Poland).

  • I have rejected all the podcast invitations,
  • I've stopped posting about my project,
  • Nothing for a month

6. Got featured in the Trends.co inner community newsletter

I'm a member of the Trends.co community.
I've posted a valuable post showing psychology insights from my products on Trends' Facebook group. It received A LOT of positive engagement, that's why this post got featured on Trends' weekly community newsletter.

Results:

  • Over $10k in sales

7. Other strategies

Somewhere around here, I got my own achievement: clients from Apple and Ogilvy (the best marketing agency in the world) XD

Reddit: Level semi-hard, Not much traffic for me

  • Find a perfect subreddit (best are those where you can provide your link as a "post")
  • Check for the most popular posts
  • Copy their style / template

Reddit wasn't very lucky for me, though I went semi-viral a few times:

Twitter: I earned probably around $4k from Twitter

Step-by-step Twitter strategy:

  • Engage first
    For people to follow you, they need to notice you at first.
    Give valuable comment (20 comments per day) under other people’s posts

  • Post valuable content at least once a day.

  • Build in public - perfect mix - showing your journey, showing new features, + showing results (money earned, collected subs etc)

  • Twitter threads are posts on steroids

  • Get your best posts retweeted by bigger accounts
    I've seen accounts that produced 50 threads in 50 days and received only 500 followers in that time. And then there is Alex who got from 500 to 40k+ subs within the same amount of time. How? Almost every single thread of his was retweeted by his team members (Sam Parr, Trung Phan, Steph Smith, and more)

Get your retweets by:

  • Getting to know people on Twitter
  • Asking for retweets on priv
  • If you have your product on gumroad, tag gumroad account on your post where you show your results (it's possible they will retweet you).

Value levels of Twitter post/thread:

  • Level 1: Takes more than 3 minutes of research on google
  • Level 2: Takes more than 10 minutes of research on Google
  • Level 3: Can’t find it on Google or it’s very difficult to find + your own graphics

The trick to getting to the third level is to present really insightful content in a new way. Sahil Bloom and George Mack are a great at doing that

Facebook groups: Got probably around $5k from them

Similar strategy as on Reddit:

Slack groups: Got around $2k from them

Same as on Facebook:

Telegram groups: Got around $1k from them

Examples: {Makerlog - 900 people](https://t.me/makerlog), Aussie Makers - 135 people, [Isolated Founders - 500 people], (https://t.me/solofounders), Beginning Creators - 169 people

8. What didn't work

Facebook Ads (lost around $5k, 0 sales after 2 months)

Mistakes:

  • hired an agency way too soon (agency was legit, but didn't work well for me)
  • didn't check agencies' branding (late on found out they didn't quite fit my brand)
  • wrong pricing. My product costs $97. It's not impulse buy pricing (below $50), which works best for it.
  • Best would be to sell a low price, "bait product" and then upsell

Google ads (lost $3k, 0 sales)

  • the same agency, the same mistakes

9. Other tips:

Hiring

  • Look for similar values to yours, ask them to create a sample of the content you want them to perform later on

Business structure

  • Automate processes
  • Create clear instructions for your employees - What to do. How to do it, and when to do it.

Add video to your landing

  • Got 200% increased conversion after uploading mine

We got to the end! AMA time!

If you want, you can link your website with a short description in the comment, and within the next 24h (till Aug 20th) I'll loom a quick video providing a marketing strategy you might like to use

Build in public

I'm currently working on expanding my project more rapidly.
Got into a few collaborations, and might increase my prices quite soon (I'm not sure about it, but people mentoring me suggested that a few times).

I'm looking to develop my platform, and need to hire a developer (I have no idea about coding xD). If you want to help me, there are actually 2 ways to do that!:

Promo codes are available ONLY for the next 24h (till Aug 22nd)

See ya!

  1. 5

    Nice tips! Thanks for sharing! And also congrats on your achievement.

  2. 3

    Thanks for all the value! And for overwhelming the crap out of me 😆.

    So much hustle went into this. So many strategies and experimentation. I appreciate the perseverance and dedication that went into this. Also, how did you remember all of your journey to be able to recall all of the channels you used and their results? Well done 👌

    Not sure what I can achieve with 1.5h a day, but one thing is for sure -> I'm not giving up.

    If you're down to check out my app https://KissTodo.com 😇

    1. 3

      Hey Maxim! I really appreciate this!
      Well, I tend to overthink my strategies, that's how I remember them so well (I guess) xD

      Don't give up! Your brand is awesome! Here's your video: https://www.loom.com/share/82c90b2cbcf14a8fb1a346a8695f2fdb

      Here are useful articles:
      https://www.demandcurve.com/playbooks/above-the-fold#n2t3cjjsbfcew4owt99tsv
      https://www.landingfolio.com/?offset=3 - a good place to see successful landingpages

      1. 1

        Hi Michal!

        Thank you so much for taking the time to create this video and sorry for the late response. Your feedback + the additional resources you have provides are extremely valuable 🙏🙏🙏

        I am now planning a big overhaul of my landing page with all the info you gave me. And I am now more confident than ever about my brand and plan to put it even more focus on it as you suggested 💪

        You spawned some additional ideas! I'm planning on having an interactive demo on the front page, so people can try a miniature version of the product right then and there! Or at the very least have some sort of "playground" page where people can test without having to signup.

        Cheers my brother!

  3. 3

    Nice post, thanks for sharing.

    Next launch/promo, join my group with 4,800+ SaaS deal buyers... I'll help with a push to your promo or PH launch if I think the product is good:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaaSWiz

    All the best moving forward! 👍

  4. 2

    This is really useful and I have bookmarked it. Definitely the num. 1 piece of advice, that you also listed here, is just HARD WORK.

    Would love for you to checkout my app landing page - #trackit, it lets you track anything about yourself between 0 to 4 or -2 to 2 :)

    1. 1

      Glad you liked it!

      I love your app! I'm not an Apple user myself but I can clearly see people using it!
      https://www.loom.com/share/682f31c98f3c4633a16bbc2ad2946184

      1. 2

        Thanks so much for your reply and video Michal! Definitely going to change up the CTAs like you said and I think the influencer campaign you mentioned is a good idea too :D

  5. 2

    Glad you mentioned the "powered by", it's a pretty powerful tactic. Great post btw!

    1. 1

      Ye, the viral features implemented into product are the most powerful in my opinion. The more people buy it/use it, the more people see it

      Thanks!

  6. 2

    I am surprised that google ads was a goose egg in terms of customers. Did the agency attempt to tune and retune, target differently etc.? I do PPC and to shoot through $3k without getting anything is pretty bad ppc. I can see FB ads not delivering for more reasons than just your price point though. Are you getting any sustained traffic from all the non-ppc sources today? Any press? Any inclusion in other people's product or service lists or evergreen content blog posts ("best marketing whatevers for 2021")? I would consider getting in touch with bloggers that could include you in any annual round-ups they do, those pump for 12 months minimum.

    1. 1

      To be honest, not really sure about retuning.

      I'd love to get your insights on FB ads - the reasons you see it has failed.

      At the moment, not sustained traffic. I'm just starting working on SEO right now.

      That's a really good tips! Thank you for that!

  7. 2

    Engage first
    For people to follow you, they need to notice you at first.
    Give valuable comment (20 comments per day) under other people’s posts

    So you're suggesting to stalk/shortlist people that you want them to follow you, and comment under their tweets 20 times a day?
    Wait, I am not sure I understood this right

    1. 1

      Nah, I suggest you to:

      1. detach yourself emotionally from your tweets. People don't care about you as much as you might think (spotlight effect)
      2. Find your niche and start genuinely commenting on other people's posts - give value. Think of them as your friends (Get the stick out of your a**. You're more chilled among your friends. - That was my problem).
      3. 20 comments overall per day should be sufficient enough to get some kind of traction
      4. Don't expect them to follow you back
      5. Even though you are on Twitter business-wise, stop thinking about it that way. Start thinking about it more like a party. You just hang out, share your views, and get to know other people
  8. 2

    You had me at:

    There's no overnight success.
    I've been hustling for over 8 years now. My lessons from this:

    • Try everything.
    • Find your own path

    Great work! Keep it up.

    1. 1

      Haha, thanks!
      It's nice to finally be on the other side (the side of the working business)

  9. 2

    Hey Michal, nice story, thanks for sharing! I'd like to get your feedback on https://lesscolumns.space It's a productized service that helps founders get rid of messy product development backlog and deliver more work. Thanks in advance!

      1. 2

        That's not even my product, but thanks for taking the time to do this, it's amazing haha

      2. 1

        So many tabs lol. Nice vid!

        1. 1

          Ye well, this is my good day. Usually I have 2x more tabs xD
          I'm a taboholic

    1. 1

      Hey man, I really like your landing page, well done 👌

      1. 2

        Thanks, Maxime! Appreciate it.

  10. 2

    Interesting pricing options for something like this. Have you seen large churn rate?

    1. 1

      Not really. Out of all 500+ customers I maybe have received 5~ refunds, and 20 cancel subscriptions

      1. 2

        Interesting. How are you keeping the content fresh to keep the value up each month?

        1. 1

          Every week I add 2 new viral marketing case studies + send a weekly newsletter with social media news.

          • There are more and more additional features added every now and then, e.g. Brainiac as an online flashcards game
          • I still consider it as a very early MVP. People see it's evolving, the prices for new members increase, so they stick to it.
            Another perk coming from this is more and more customers want to help me developing it. People really like it and want to be a part of it
  11. 1

    Excellent article, thanks for sharing.
    You broke down how much you earn from each source (like $1k via Telegram).
    How did you exactly measure that?

    1. 2

      Thanks! Really appreciate it!

      Well, It's more or less like this.
      I've seen the results when I posted here and there, e.g. I posted once on reddit and saw a bunch of people from reddit visiting my site and a few sales just arrived.

      • At the end of every sale I ask people through the form how did they find my product, plus other questions
      1. 1

        I'd be very curious to know what the "other questions" are; if you are open to share a brief version of it

        1. 2

          I ask for:

          • Gender
          • Position (job)
          • Age
          • Business size
          • Business market
          • "What's the no.1 problem you hope this product will solve for you?"
          • "What are your other resources for marketing inspiration?"
          • "What are your biggest problems regarding marketing?"
          1. 1

            Thanks for sharing!

  12. 1

    Nice write up! I like the way shared ur tips. Congrats!

    1. 1

      Really appreciate that. Thanks!

  13. 1

    Your website plagiarized our good friend Rory Sutherland from Ogilvy... Unless he is an investor you should atleast change his exact words or quote him for attribution!

    1. 1

      You're right about that.Already added his name to the 1 sentence I got from him

    2. 1

      I fully agree.

      This website is a customize version of

      1. "Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense", a Book by Rory Sutherland.

      2. Influence and Pre-Suasion - Robert Cialdini

      3. Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman

      1. 2

        Yep, you're not wrong! The psychology part of this website is a customized version of probably 20+ books, and 100+ websites.

        1. 1

          Congrats, @Michal_kanka - you've impressed me (and many others on here). Nice going and continued success.

  14. 1

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